SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentJunior Class of BA Program in Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures
Course NameThe Introduction to Southeast Asian Economies
InstructorLE THI-NHAM
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Week 1: Southeast Asia: An Overview

  • Introduction to the course

  • Geopolitical importance of Southeast Asia (SEA)

  • Diversity of SEA: religions, ethnicity, government regimes, vast national resources

  • Khmer Empire

  • India and its impact in Southeast Asia

  • China and its impact in Southeast Asia

  • Colonial rules and its effects in Southeast Asia

  • Southeast Asia countries - Road to be independent

  • Southeast Asia of present-day

  • Conclusions

Week 2: ASEAN Community: An Overview

  • Historical development of ASEAN: Journey to community building

  • Rationales of ASEAN community

  • Formation of ASEAN-6 (before 1992):

Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei

  • ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC)

  • ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Milestones

  • ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)

  • Why an ASEAN is important for investors?

  • ASEAN opportunities and challenges

  • Conclusions

Week 3: The ASEAN Trade Patterns

  • Basic Theories:

    • Theory of protectionism and trade liberalization

    • Theory of beside the free trade areas (FTA)

    • Rule of origin

    • Objective of free trade agreement

  • ASEAN free trade agreements (AFTA): Political – Economy approach

    • Rationale of 1992 ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA)

    • Objectives of 1992 AFTA

    • Tariff reduction

    • Rationale and objectives of ASEAN Investment Area 1998 (AIA)

    • Benefits for investors

    • Factors affecting the implementation of AFTA

  • ASEAN FTA Plus

    • The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA)

    • ASEAN Plus Three (APT): ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea

    • ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand

    • Others

  • Conclusion

Week 4: The Southeast Asia Trade Patterns and Transitional Economies

  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)and economic impact on ASEAN economies

  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and economic impact on ASEAN economies

  • ASEAN transitional Southeast Asian Economies: Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV)

    • The potential benefits from ASEAN membership

    • Outcomes after joining ASEAN, AFTA and WTO

    • Difficulties and Challenges during 1990s

    • Case study: Vietnam

 Week 5: The 1997 Asian Crisis and Its Aftermath on the ASEAN Economies

  • Basic Theories:

    • Currency crisis

    • The impossible trinity: free capital flow, independent monetary policy, fixed exchange rate

  • Before the 1997 Asian crisis

  • The causes of the 1997 Asian crisis: Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipines

  • Economic impacts on inflation, GDP growth, unemployment and standard of living

  • Road to economic recovery in ASEAN countries after the 1997 Asian crisis

  • Lessons learn from the crisis

  • Conclusion

Week 6: The Covid-19 Pandemic: Economic Impact and Response in Southeast Asia

  • Overview of the Covid-19 situation in ASEAN

  • ASEAN countries and experience

  • Case study: Singapore

  • Case study: Indonesia

  • Case study: Thailand

  • Case study: Myanmar

  • Case study: The Philippines

  • Conclusion

Week 7: The Covid-19 Pandemic: Economic Impact and Response in Southeast Asia

  • Future economic performance projection

  • Economic risks

  • Slowing growth

  • Sluggish recovery of trade

  • Unemployment issues

  • Economic stimulus packages

  • Opportunities and challenges

  • Conclusion

Week 8: The Economy of Vietnam: An Overview

  • Economic development after Vietnam war

  • Macroeconomic indicators: GDP, GDP per capital, labor forces, ease of doing business

  • Globalization and industrialization

  • Foreign trade: import and export

  • The role of government on Vietnam economy

  • Role of Vietnam in ASEAN community

  • Challenges and future prospects

  • Conclusions

Week 9: Foreign Invest Flow in ASEAN Economic Growth

  • Concepts of foreign direct investment (FDI)

  • FDI benefits to host economy

  • FDI and economic development

  • How to maximize benefits of foreign investment

  • Determinants of FDI inflow

  • The role of foreign invest flow (FDI) in ASEAN economic growth

  • Determinants of foreign direct investment in ASEAN

  • Conclusion

Week 10: Foreign Invest Flow in ASEAN Economic Growth

  • FDI trends and development in ASEAN 2017-2019

  • FDI trends and development in ASEAN 2020-2021

  • Southeast Asia’s long-term performance in attracting FDI

  • Multinationals enterprises (MNEs) activities and operations in ASEAN

  • Benefits and costs

  • Managing foreign capital

  • FDI by country destination

  • Opportunities and challenges

  • Conclusion

Week 11: China - Southeast Asia Trade Relations

  • Political and economic relations between China and Southeast Asia

  • Recent development between China and Southeast Asia

  • China – Indonesia economic ties

  • China – Singapore economic ties

  • China – Cambodia economic ties

  • China – the Philippines economic ties

  • Production networks within East Asia

  • Power relations in the region

  • Conclusion

Week 12: Rising China, US Influence, and Southeast Asia: Economic and Political Concerns

  • Southeast Asia and trade war between the United States and China

  • US – China trade war and Vietnam economy

  • South China Sea disputes

  • Diplomacy relations between China and Southeast Asia countries

  • Opportunities and challenges

  • Conclusion


Week 13: Global Value Chain Participation in Southeast Asia

  • Global value chain (GVC)- the concepts

  • Trade in value-added: the East Asian story

  • GVC participation and positioning

  • Foreign direct investment and the GVC

  • Disruptions to GVCs and production relocation out of China towards ASEAN economies

  • Policy implications and the way forward

Week 14Midterm Reports

Week 15Midterm Reports

Week 16: Taiwan New Southbound Policy: Core Concepts

  • Core concepts of New Southbound Policy (NSP)

  • Comparison between the Go-South Policy and the NSP

  • Taiwan politics review

  • Why go “South”

  • The objectives of the NSP

  • Trend of Taiwan’s outward investment to China and Southeast Asia

  • Southeast Asia students in Taiwan

  • Cultural exchange between Taiwan and SEA

  • Conclusion

Week 17: Taiwan New Southbound Policy towards ASEAN Economies

  • An overview of Taiwan economy

  • Taiwan economic development

  • Taiwan economy present-day

  • Taiwan soft power – education

  • Taiwan soft power – technology and industry

  • Taiwan soft power – small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

  • Top market capitalization companies

  • Cross-trait economic relation Taiwan – China

  • Taiwan and ASEAN economic relations

  • Investment tendency

  • Present cases

  • Outcomes of the New Southbound Policy

  • Conclusion

Week 18:  ASEAN Challenges and Future Prospects

  • Present overview

  • ASEAN aspiration

  • SWOT analysis: Strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats

  • Key challenges

  • Enhancing macroeconomic and financial stability

  • Promoting comprehensive and innovation

  • Protecting environment

  • Conclusions

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

Students are responsible for reading materials before class in order to reserve valuable in-class time for practice sharing. All assignments are sent to instructor's email prior to the deadlines. The final grades are determined by 3 parts as following:

  1. Attendance: 30%

  2. In-class discussion and feedbacks: 20%

  3. Case reports: 50%

Note: One group (2-3 students) is required to present one case report in term of aspects of ASEAN economies.

Textbook & Reference


[1] Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN community.

[2] ASEAN Economic Community. Available online:

[3] Rodolfo C. Severino  (2016). ASEAN Economic Community.

[4] Jose L. Tongzon (2002). The Economies of Southeast Asia Before and After the Crisis.

[5] Kiki Verico. (2017). The future of the ASEAN Economic Integration.

[6] Helen E.S. (2009) Southeast Asia in the Global Economy, pp. 98-114.

[7] Saw Swee- Hock. (2009). Managing Economic Crisis in Southeast Asia, pp.1-95 and 214-246.

[8] Das, Sanchita. (2016). Can the US-ASEAN Connect Initiative Create Stronger US-ASEAN Economic Relations?

[9] Min- Hua Chiang. (2019). China–ASEAN economic relations after establishment of free trade area, pp. 267-290.

[10] ASEAN industries and Challenges from China, pp. 18-38.

[11] Young-Chan Kim. (2016). Chinese Global Production Networks in ASEAN, pp. 1-37.

[12] Stephen and Chery. (2019). China and The ASEAN Economies: Interdependence and Rivalry, PP.381-394

[13] The ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD, ASEAN Investment Report 2017, 2018, 2019.

[14] Kunal Sen (2016) Global Production Networks and Economic Corridors: Can They Be Drivers for South Asia’s Growth and Regional Integration, No.33.

[15] Lili Yan Ing (2019).  Production Networks in Southeast Asia.

[16] Young-Chan Kim (ed.) (2016). Chinese Global Production Networks in ASEAN.

[17] Vilavong (2016). Global production sharing and trade patterns in ASEAN.

[18] Ngeow Chow Bing (2015). Taiwan’ Go South Policy, pp. 96-126.

[19] Alan Hao Yang, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (2016). Tai-shang (Taiwan Business) in Southeast Asia: Profile and Issues.

[20] SME Policy Index: ASEAN 2018, Boosting Competitiveness and Inclusive Growth, OECD publishing.

 [21] Participation and benefits of SMEs in GVCs in Southeast Asia, 2019, OECD publishing.

[22] Lopez Gonzalez, 2017, Mapping the participation of ASEAN- SMEs in global value chain, No. 203, OECD publishing, Paris.

[23] Rajah Rasiah, 2016, Globalization, Industrialization and Labor Markets in East and South Asia, pp. 57-165.

[24] The ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD, ASEAN Investment Report 2017.

[25] Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2020: Rethinking Education for the Digital Era, OECD publishing, pp. 95-144.

[26] Barr and Attrey, Building local responsiveness in employment and skills systems in Southeast Asia, OECD publishing, pp. 6-21.

[27] Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2020: Rethinking Education for the Digital Era, OECD publishing, pp. 95-144.

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